Graduate Programs and Courses

115 Doctor of Applied Health

(i) Introduction

The DrAH is a solutions-focused interdisciplinary degree program. The curriculum focuses on developing essential skills based on theory and evidence for real world applications to resolve issues within health-related sectors.

Graduates of the Doctor of Applied Health program will be ready to make meaningful contributions to scholarship in applied health through their knowledge and understanding of a range of research methodologies and their relevance to specific real world challenges impacting health-focused organizations and communities.

In responding to the demand for scholar-practitioners with the ability to provide leadership in the workplace and build strong collaborative networks, through this program, UPEI aims to meet the pressing needs for evidence-informed, upstream prevention, policies and practices that target population health promotion. To this end, the DrAH focuses on developing graduates with the competencies required to bridge gaps between health systems, health researchers, health practitioners, and decision/policy makers in a manner that breaks down silos and enables professionals to work toward common goals. 

(ii) Overview

The Doctor of Applied Health at UPEI is the first professional Doctor of Applied Health degree program in Atlantic Canada. The program model is a four-year, 60 credit professional doctoral program with a capstone project. The program will be delivered using a cohort approach with a high degree of active engagement and collaborative interdisciplinary learning.

(iii) Program Requirements

The Doctor of Applied Health degree is comprised of 20 required courses, with a minimum of 360 hours of on-campus summer institute experience, and an applied research capstone project. The following program plan illustrates the schedule of curriculum delivery over the four years of the program.

REQUIRED COURSES

Year 1: Summer Institute (July – 2 compressed courses)

AH-7000: Introduction to Health and Health Promotion

AH-7010: Introduction to Applied Health Research Methods

Year 1: Fall Semester

AH-7020: Foundations of Population and Applied Health

Year 1: Winter Semester

AH-7030: Partnering to Advance Population Health

Year 1: Summer Semester

AH-7040: The Social Determinants of Health 

Year 2: Summer Institute (July – 2 compressed courses)

AH-7050: Policy Analysis

AH-7060: Introduction to Knowledge Translation

Year 2: Fall Semester

AH-7070: Improving Health Outcomes through Sustainable Development

Year 2: Winter Semester

AH-7080: Knowledge Generation in Applied Health – Research and Theories

Year 2: Summer Semester

AH-7090: Ethics and Professional Practice Issues in Applied Health 

Year 3: Summer Institute (July – 2 compressed courses)

AH-7100: Special Topics in Applied Health

AH-7110: Improving Health Outcomes through Collaborative Leadership

Year 3: Fall Semester

AH-7120: Introduction to Implementation Science

Year 3: Winter Semester

AH-7130: Community Development and Project Planning

Year 3: Summer Semester

AH-7140: Systemic Influences on Health – Applied Health Administration and Management 

Year 4: Summer Institute (July – 2 compressed courses)

AH-7150: Improving Health Outcomes Through Policy Development and Implementation

AH-7160: Marketing and Communicating Applied Health Programs 

Year 4: Fall Semester

AH-7170: Knowledge to Action – Assessing and Validating Wicked Problems

Year 4: Winter Semester

AH-7180: Improving Health Through Knowledge Translation I – Taking Action on Wicked Problems Implementing and Evaluating the Capstone Project

Year 4: Summer Semester

AH-7190: Improving Health Through Knowledge Translation II- Sharing Solutions to Wicked Problems – Culmination and Dissemination of Capstone Project 

ELECTIVE COURSES
None

Doctor of Applied Health Courses

7000 INTRODUCTION TO HEALTH AND HEALTH PROMOTION
This course introduces students to the evolution of health and health promotion beginning with the historical evolution of health from a biomedical perspective to the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986 to the most recent Astana Conference. Through various case examples, students will examine how targeted actions specific to building public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills and re-orientating health services towards health promotion and illness prevention can result in improvements in population health.
PREREQUISITE: Must be enrolled in the Doctor of Applied Health Program
Three semester hours

7010 INTRODUCTION TO APPLIED HEALTH RESEARCH METHODS
Building upon undergraduate research coursework, students will learn how to interpret and evaluate research designs commonly used in applied health. Students will be introduced to various epidemiological methods, case study, ethnographic, and participatory action research methodologies. In addition, students will be expected to critically appraise current applied health research and recognize the importance of examining multiple data sets including demographic, epidemiological and statistical data, current literature and environmental scans when proposing applied health research.
PREREQUISITE: Must be enrolled in the Doctor of Applied Health Program
Three semester hours

7020 FOUNDATIONS OF POPULATION AND APPLIED HEALTH
In this course students will be introduced to foundational concepts related to population health and applied health. In this course students will be introduced to seminal documents and position papers that have enhanced our understanding of population health. Socio-environmental issues impacting population health will be explored and opportunities to address and enhance population health at the local, national and international debated.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7000, AH 7010
Three semester hours

7030 PARTNERING TO ADVANCE POPULATION HEALTH
In this course students will gain a deep appreciation of the importance of partnering and intersectoral collaboration to advance population health. Students will be introduced to the roles and responsibilities of multiple sectors who are actively working on to promote the health of individuals, families, and communities at the local, national, and international level. Throughout this course students will recognize various components that constitute successful partnerships.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7020
Three semester hours

7040 THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
Building upon AH 7000 and AH 7020, coursework, students will delve further into the biopsychosocial factors that impact the health and well-being of individuals, families, and populations. Students will be introduced to the social determinants of health and consider how each of these can contribute to both wellness and illness. Students will critically appraise various determinants of health considering their wicked problem and identify how taking action on a specific determinant, or determinants of health, could address their wicked problem and lead to improved population health outcomes.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7030
Three semester hours

7050 POLICY ANALYSIS
In this course students will be exposed to the various stages involved in the development of healthy public policies. From identification of need through to policy implementation and legislation, students will analyze a multitude of factors that determine whether policies drafted become policies implemented. Drawing upon case examples at the local, national and international level, students will critically examine the extent to which effective and ineffective policy development can impact population health.
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of all Doctor of Applied Health Year 1 program courses
Three semester hours

7060 INTRODUCTION TO KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION
In this course, students will integrate Year 1 Doctor of Applied Health program course learning and propose their capstone project topic. Working in partnership with external partners and using multiple data sets including demographic, epidemiological and statistical data, current literature and environmental scans, students will identify a wicked problem and defend how this could be addressed through the development of a capstone project. They will then propose an appropriate applied research method and evaluation strategy to resolve the wicked problem. This course will culminate with the successful viva-voce defense of the student’s proposed Doctor of Applied Health capstone project proposal.
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of all Doctor of Applied Health Year 1 program courses
Three semester hours

7070 IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES THROUGH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The students in DAH 7070 will be introduced to the 1978 Declaration of Alma Alta, and the 2000 Millennium Health Goals and 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using case examples, students will critically analyze where successes and failures have occurred in the advancement of global health. Through interactive dialogue, debate and review of local, national and international examples, students will gain a deeper understanding of each of the 17 SDGs and recognize how actions targeting these can lead to sustained health improvements.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7050, AH 7060
Three semester hours

7080 KNOWLEDGE GENERATION IN APPLIED HEALTH – RESEARCH AND THEORIES
A central tenet of the DrAH program is interprofessional and inter-organisational collaboration in order to establish a leadership role in applied health research and care. To this end, students will be introduced to the theoretical literature underlying the importance of establishing communities of practice and the role of these communities in healthcare collaboration. Three important thematic areas addressed in this course will include: optimizing knowledge sharing within and across communities of practice, suggested ways to create and manage communities of practice, and the importance of sustaining stakeholder identity within communities of practice.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7070
Three semester hours

7090 ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE ISSUES IN APPLIED HEALTH
This course introduces students to various ethical issues in applied health. Students will be exposed to various codes of conduct guiding the practice of various applied health disciplines. Using a socioecological framework, students will critically analyze various interprofessional practice issues. Through case-based learning, students will work in teams to propose ethically sound solutions to address issues in applied health practice locally, nationally and internationally. Central to this course will be an understanding of the importance of ethics when working collaboratively with others in applied health.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7080
Three semester hours

7100 SPECIAL TOPICS IN APPLIED HEALTH
Topics chosen for the Special Topics in Applied Health course will address a wide array of relevant, current and contemporary issues impacting population health at the local, national and international levels. Topics selected for these courses may vary from year to year depending on emerging and future issues in applied health. Proposed topics for the Special Topics in Applied Health courses will align with the Canadian Public Health Association competencies for graduate students (2019) and/or the Canadian Health Services and Policy Research Alliance competencies for doctoral education (2018).
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of all Doctor of Applied Health Year 2 program courses
Three semester hours

7110 IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES THROUGH COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP
In this course students will be introduced to various theories of leadership and the impact that these may have in the planning and delivery of health services and subsequent health outcomes. Building upon the Canadian Federation for Health care Improvement Executive Training Program (2019), students will recognize the importance of developing effective collaborative interdisciplinary teams, grounded in a philosophy of collaboration, mutuality and respect. Using various case examples, students will understand more fully how this approach to relational leadership can open the door to new possibilities and improve population health.
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of all Doctor of Applied Health Year 2 program courses
Three semester hours

7120 INTRODUCTION TO IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE
In this course students will be introduced to the bridge between science and practice through community engagement and social action to increase health equity. Using an implementation science approach students will be introduced to the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of clinical research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice, and hence to improve the quality (effectiveness, reliability, safety, appropriateness, equity, efficiency) of health care.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7100, AH 7110
Three semester hours

7130 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND PROJECT PLANNING
In this course students will be introduced to various models of community development and project planning. Using a strengths-based approach, students will understand the various phases required for successful project development and implementation. Building on knowledge gained through previous program courses, students will articulate the importance of interdisciplinary partnerships and collaborative leadership in community development and project planning.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7120
Three semester hours

7140 SYSTEMIC INFLUENCES ON HEALTH – APPLIED HEALTH ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
Throughout this course students will be introduced to a multitude of systemic influences that impact population health. Examining various frameworks guiding health administration and management, students will critically dialogue and debate how systemic influences including health economics, and health legislations can impact the evolution of local, national and international health systems and the management of these.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7130
Three semester hours

7150 IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES THROUGH POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
In this course, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the multiple phases of public policy development and implementation. Sharing both successes and failures in health policies, students will gain a deeper appreciation and recognize how effective health policies can lead to improved population health outcomes. Students will use evidence to justify how health outcomes can be improved through the successful implementation of a capstone project that supports the development of healthy public policies for sustained change.
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of all Doctor of Applied Health Year 3 program courses
Three semester hours

7160 MARKETING AND COMMUNICATING APPLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS
In this course students will be introduced to various marketing and communication theories that could be used to raise awareness about applied health programs. Students will consider these theories related to their proposed capstone project. At the conclusion of this course, students will develop a marketing and communication plan to educate others about their wicked problem and how their proposed capstone project will address this problem and lead to population health improvements. Students will share their marketing and communication plan with applied health practitioners to gather feedback about the effectiveness of their proposed strategies.
PREREQUISITE: Successful completion of all Doctor of Applied Health Year 3 program courses
Three semester hours

7170 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION—ASSESSING AND VALIDATING WICKED PROBLEMS
In this course students will integrate previous program course learning and solidify their capstone project topic. Working collaboratively with external partners and using multiple data sets including demographic, epidemiological and statistical data, current literature and environmental scans, students will identify existing issues within health systems and justify how these wicked problems can be addressed through the implementation of a capstone project. During this course, students will finalize their plans for implementing the capstone project with their program supervisory committee and external partners.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7150, AH 7160
Three semester hours

7180 IMPROVING HEALTH THROUGH KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION I—TAKING ACTION ON WICKED PROBLEMS IMPLEMENTING AND EVALUATING THE CAPSTONE PROJECT
In this course students will implement their capstone projects. In addition, strategies for knowledge translation related to the wicked problem will be finalized. This course will culminate with students conducting an evaluation of the project’s effectiveness in addressing their proposed wicked problem.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7170
Three semester hours

7190 IMPROVING HEALTH THROUGH KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION II—SHARING SOLUTIONS TO WICKED PROBLEMS – CULMINATION AND DISSEMINATION OF CAPSTONE PROJECT
The focus of this final course is on the sharing of solutions to wicked problems. Students will be expected to actively engage in knowledge translation activities that showcase their capstone projects and highlight how these projects have addressed their proposed wicked problem. It is expected that students share their capstone projects broadly with a wide array of audiences, across multiple sectors and settings. At the conclusion of this course, students are expected to have prepared and submitted at least one major paper or report for dissemination.
PREREQUISITE: AH 7180
Three semester hours
Note:  Course will remain In Progress until Capstone Project is submitted and accepted. May be registered in multiple semesters.

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